John Steinbeck on American Socialism

by gradycarter

John Steinbeck on American Socialism

The great

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” -John Steinbeck

I think that there is a lot of foresight and truth to this statement, but part of the problem with American Socialism is that it is a mixed bag. We have experienced a very real rise in entitlement spending in this nation, but this entitlement has been mostly paid into by the people who would be helped by the system. Socialism is usually designed so that the people with pay for the people without. Programs like Social Security and Medicare are financed by the people who benefit from them for the most part, and they are a huge piece of the spending pie. Of course these programs seem to need some major reform, and a lot of people would say that this includes means testing. But as for programs that actually help people who need a leg up to have a chance at the “American Dream”, there doesn’t seem to be the model of socialism that a socialist might hope for, despite the enormous spending. Saying something like this goes counter to what I believed much of my life, but I have since learned that the social mobility in this country is not what many have come to expect.

I don’t consider myself to be a “Socialist”, but I do believe in our nation having a safety net, which is a form of socialism – and I’m tired of hearing people say that they believe in a safety net, and turing around to accuse others of being socialists. We need to start having conversations about degrees of styles of government, since a lot of the political debates we see in this country are merely bastardized versions of the same systems. What do you think?